Student marshal to begin second career at Dow Corning in Michigan

Michael McCloskey won’t have to worry about finding a position in his field after graduation on Friday, Dec. 19. He already has a job lined up as an associate database analyst at Dow Corning in Bay City, Michigan, where he completed a summer internship. But McCloskey, Penn State Berks’ student marshal (the graduating student with the highest grade-point average) took a somewhat winding road to reach this milestone.

McCloskey, 25, earned his first baccalaureate degree in music education. After a year of substitute teaching, he decided that he wanted to change career paths. Since he has always been interested in computers, he investigated the bachelor of science degree in information sciences and technology at Penn State Berks. He found that most of his general education credits would transfer, allowing him to earn the four-year degree in just two years. The college is also close to his home, so he decided to enroll.

He found out about the internship at Dow Corning through PSU Compass, the University’s job board for information science and technology majors. The internship opened the door to his future career.

When asked how his time at Penn State Berks helped prepare him for the future, McCloskey stated, “The structure of the classes is great. In almost all of them, you have to do a team project, and in the real world you rarely do a project by yourself.”

“The professors are always open and helpful,” he added. “They gave me good guidance. And the scheduling was convenient.”

McCloskey continued to work as a substitute teacher while attending Penn State Berks, so the flexible course schedule was important to him. He took a combination of online and classroom courses to complete his degree.

“As a former education major, I wanted to be in a classroom as much as possible,” he explained.

Although he has changed his career path, he continues to play saxophone in two bands just about every weekend: Boop Loomis, a blues/rock/funk band that he joined while studying music education, and Lazy Afternoon, a jazz fusion/funk/rock band that he and another musician formed.

Last Updated December 09, 2014